Researchers have learned that innovation can be achieved on a regular and consistent basis when a certain process, commonly referred to as the Innovation Process, is adopted, supported and followed by people throughout an organization. Have developed their own version of the Innovation Process but, for the most part, the main stages or steps of the process remain the same from one version to the next. After reading MIT’s version of the Innovation Process, as well as many others, what I find most interesting is that from one version to another there is no mention of the workplace or physical environment in which people work. While the Innovation Process talks about idea generation, collaboration, testing ideas, challenging one another, etc. Then all of the “Process” in the world won’t matter as much, especially when the process in and of itself is reliant on these interactions and collaborations to begin with. While all of this may sound somewhat circuitous, the main point I’m trying to convey is that the Innovation Process should, for all intents and purposes, include some mention of the physical environment and how it is designed. Knowing the impact workplace design has on employee productivity, well-being, morale and engagement, and how it directly ties into work flows and business processes, I believe companies would be better served and far more successful in their pursuit of innovation if the design and layout of the workplace was made part of the process, discussion and decisions that are made by a company’s senior leadership.
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